Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Yes, we’ve reached that time of year again! Thank you so much for being a follower of Baseball By The Yard!  The site is approaching it’s 7th anniversary and I appreciate all your support! I hope you and your families... 

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The good news about fear

Fear is one of the basic features of our hard-wiring that has allowed human beings to last as long as we have.  Fear and all the physiological responses to it – increased heart rate, quick shallow breathing, the adrenaline... 

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The Fence Drill for hitters

Today’s video tip is a popular drill called the Fence Drill.  As I explain in the video, there are multiple ways to do a Fence Drill.  The video shows how I conduct the drill most of the time. Note: Although I do not mention... 

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Just don’t be timid

Don’t be the deer in headlights! Is there anything more painful to watch than a talented player who is timid on the field or in the batter’s box?  It’s frustrating because usually the timidness does not let... 

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Command of your fastball is priority #1

Home plate is 17 inches wide.  Baseballs are about 3 inches in diameter which means the strike zone is going to be about 6 baseballs wide.  In reality, it often is 7 baseballs.  At the younger levels one can argue that it... 

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What personality shows when you play?

Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Pete Rose, Tug McGraw, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, and Bob Gibson. Josh Donaldson, Justin Turner, Jose Altuve, Bryce Harper, Yasiel Puig, Dustin Pedroia, and Yadier Molina. The list of older player in... 

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Teaching launch angle is a waste of time

If you work with baseball players below the AA or AAA level (and 99% of baseball coaches do) then there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to use the term “launch angle” in your instruction. Three stories … I... 

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Like riding a bike

Keep looking down and you won’t go very far Remember when you were little and you were trying to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels?  If you were like most kids, you probably were so concerned with what your... 

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The Training Lace

Hi everyone! I don’t often promote products but the Training Lace from LaceUp is generating a lot of interest inside and outside the sporting world.  It also has a lot of versatility on the baseball side of things.  I... 

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Speak to the track coach yet?

Who would like to improve their overall running speed?   Answer = everyone. Who would like to get better jumps on steals?  Answer = everyone. Who wants to improve their first and second step quickness to improve their range?... 

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Let me see your calendar

You say you are a serious ball player with aspirations to play in college or the pro level?  Yeah? Prove it.  Let me see your calendar. Playing college or pro baseball is not something you can just wake up and decide to do when... 

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Embarrass yourself before someone else does

Ever get called out by a coach or a teammate?  Play long enough and every player will have that happen to them at least once.  It could be a teammate who jumps you for not running hard down the line.  It could be a coach jumping... 

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Don’t eat the cheese

During the fall, many players and teams use their time (and better weather!) to identify areas where they struggled during the spring and summer and work  to improve upon them.  This is especially true for those who had poor... 

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Do pitchers lead with the hip or the foot?

There are many debates in baseball that still rage on today.  One of them involves whether it is better for a pitcher to lead with his front foot or whether he should lead with his hip when he starts his movement towards home... 

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Confidently unorthodox

“When you catch the ball, use two hands.”   “On grounders, square up and get in front of the ball.” “Don’t show-off and flip the ball with your glove.  Take it out with your hand and throw... 

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The way you do anything is the way you’ll do everything

“The way you do anything is the way you’ll do everything.“ I heard this quote the other day and I think there is a lot of truth in it when it comes to life and baseball. Human beings are creatures of habit. ... 

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The Bunting Tee Drill

The batting tee is probably the most versatile tool for baseball players.  It can be used for drill work in almost every area of the game.  Today’s video tip shows how you can use a tee to practice two specific types of... 

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Stealing on first-move (Part 3)

There’s a lot going on with this simple steal attempt of second base This is the final post in a three part series on stealing first-move on a left-handed pitcher.  In Part 1, I explained what stealing first-move is and... 

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Stealing on first-move (Part 2)

Sometimes you steal on the pitcher. Other times it’s on the first baseman. In Part 1 of this series I discussed what stealing first-move means and why it can be a very good option when a left-hander is on the mound.  In... 

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Stealing on first-move (Part 1)

“He’s going!!! This is Part 1 of a three part series on stealing second base using the “first-move” method.  Today I’ll focus on what stealing “first-move” means and why a coach/runner... 

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The Jam Drill

When a batter smokes a line drive right at someone, you may hear a coach say “Don’t worry.  They’ll even out.”  What he means is that someday the hitter will get a bloop hit and the two will even out. Never... 

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A better leg kick for pitchers

Young baseball players who are just starting to pitch typically need to focus on being very efficient and under control to help them throw more strikes.  However, as kids get older and the distances of their pitch increases,... 

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How to jump over runners on double plays

Over the past several years, Major League Baseball has instituted some rule changes about sliding in order to better protect middle infielders on double plays.  However, as I state in today’s video, middle infielders no... 

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Two tips for catching low strikes

One big job for catchers is to help their pitchers get more strikes called on close pitches.  How they receive/catch the ball can play a large role in that.  In today’s video, Coach McCreary shows catchers two ways they... 

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What sport are you playing in the fall?

You can have the year-round baseball player. I’ll take the defensive back! Over the past couple decades, specializing in one sport (especially baseball) and playing it year-round has become a popular trend.  It’s... 

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The mini wind-up for pitchers

Learning how to pitch can be a difficult thing for young pitchers.  Bad balance, not staying on their line, and simply bad body control add contribute to young pitchers not being to consistently throw strikes.  Usually less... 

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Touch the front of first base!

Here is a painful reminder why a runner always needs to touch the FRONT part of the bag at first base.  No exceptions!  I’m hoping Harper’s knee injury is not serious. Touching the front gets you to first base more... 

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Tip for catchers to help their coach on close pitches

“COME ON, UMP!  WHERE’S THAT PITCH?  LET’S GO!”” Sit close to a field and you will hear a lot of variations of the phrase above.  Quite often, what follows will be the umpire calling time-out,... 

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Tips on diving back to first base

The photo to the right shows a runner properly diving back to first base on either a pick-off by the pitcher or an after-the-pitch pickoff attempt by the catcher.  Either way, the process of diving back to the bag is the same.... 

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The underrated push bunt

In my opinion, one of the most underrated plays in baseball is the push bunt from right handed hitters.  Someday I’ll make a video demonstrating how to do it properly but today we’ll just get into the benefits and... 

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You only “pitch” when you are in the stretch

How many times have you seen a pitcher warm-up before a game or throw a bullpen between starts and never (or almost never) throw any pitches from the stretch?  I lost count. Think about it … when you are pitching in a game... 

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Improve the last warm-up pitch before the inning

We’ve all seen it a thousand times … the catcher yells “Comin’ down!” before the last warm-up pitch by the pitcher.  At the higher levels, the catcher just puts his throwing arm out to the side and... 

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Three ways to quicken your transitions from catching to throwing

The photo on the right is my son about to throw a ball to a teammate in this year’s SE Pennsylvania 10u Ripken State Tournament Skills Night.  The event they are participating in was the Around-the-horn competition.  The... 

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The importance of being aggressive early at the plate

Be aggressive early! As all of my readers know, baseball is a very cerebral game.  The difference between winning and losing & succeeding and failing at the game often is more about what is going on between the ears and not... 

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The shortstop’s priority when holding runners on

There are a boatload of little things that shortstops should do in order to effectively hold runners on at second base.  However, one stands out as the top priority and that involves getting the runner (and third base coach!)... 

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Sometimes you have to pack the parachutes

I recently heard an inspiring true story from a friend/coach.   It goes like this … Captain Charlie Plumb was a fighter pilot in the 60’s during the Vietnam War.  While on a mission, his jet was shot down.  He was... 

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Good outfield jumps are mental

One of the things I always stressed to my players, especially the outfielders, is that on every foul ball, I should see all seven fielders behind the pitcher move in the direction of the foul ball.  For example, if the batter... 

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Happy July 4th week

Hi everyone! No posts this week.  I hope you and your families have a relaxing and fun 4th of July week!   Next post will be Monday.  Good luck if you are playing this week!   Coach McCreary Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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If you know a young player, make him watch this

Young American kids typically wear $80 spikes.  They use $300+ mako bats.  They play on nice fields and they carry baseball bags filled with 20 pounds of other gear.  Some are the best players in their area.  They have dreams... 

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How to improve your pitching machine

I’m not a gigantic fan of pitching machines mainly because they are so unrealistic to how a ball is going to be pitched to a batter.  Here is a picture that shows the obvious problem.   No pitch will ever shoot out... 

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Base running – A yard makes a big difference

If you have been a reader of this site then you probably know the story of why I call it Baseball By The Yard.  If you don’t, watch the video on my Home Page that explains the story and the significance. The other day I... 

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How to rub up a baseball

As a former pitcher, it bothers me every time a sparkling white, brand new baseball is thrown into a game.  If the game balls are my team’s responsibility then they will always be rubbed up.  It’s just habit. Watch... 

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How to autograph a baseball

I’m a stickler for doing things right when it comes to the game of baseball.  Right down to how to autograph a baseball. In today’s video tip, I show the wrong way and the right way to do it.  If you are going to... 

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Pitchers – warm up in the same direction

Warm up in the same direction! As a pitcher, I don’t think I warmed up in a real bullpen until I got to high school.  And even then I think only one or two fields had them.  Most of the time a catcher and I would find... 

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Knob to the ball v Hands inside the ball – What’s the difference?

I’ve said numerous times on my site that one size never fits all when it comes to teaching baseball.  Everyone plays and learns differently and therefore requires unique methods of instruction.  This is true right down... 

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Proper helmet throwing

I’m a HUGE Domingo Ayala fan.  In my opinion, this is his best work yet.  Check out all his other videos HERE.  Enjoy!   Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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Slumps and the common cold

Treat a slump like you would a cold Sooner or later, everyone will catch a cold just like every batter will find himself in a rut or a slump.  The two are very similar because no matter what you do, you are going to have both... 

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Be on second base!

Challenge yourself to be on 2nd base on every fly ball! You see it all the time in the big leagues on TV.  A player hits a pop-up, slams the bat down, and runs about 60% to first base.  Most of the time, the fielder catches... 

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Pitchers and the Spotlight Effect

If you ever took a psychology course then you probably know that there are many things that can impact how we perceive the world around us.  Quite often our perceptions are flawed as a result.  Concepts like confirmation bias,... 

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Within three pitches

Tired of these games? Successful pitching at any level is not rocket science.  Get ahead and force them to put the ball into play.   There are very few situations in the game where a strikeout is necessary.  2nd and 3rd and... 

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